FCA: insurance firms must act quickly to support SMEs during COVID-19 disruption

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today warned insurance firms to ensure they act quickly to process business claims relating to COVID-19.

The body has stressed that payments of business interruption insurance must be made in a timely fashion to “ensure that financial pressures on policyholders are not exacerbated by slow payment”.

In a letter published today, the FCA’s interim chief executive Christopher Woolard outlined the body’s expectations of insurance firms in supporting SMEs through the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent disruption.

Mr Woolard stated: “A key objective of the FCA is to ensure that financial pressures on policyholders are not exacerbated by slow payment, rather, such claims should be paid as soon as is possible.

“This is consistent with the wider objective of the authorities to support business and consumers during the current crisis.”

In addition, he explained that the FCA have today established a new small business unit to support firms through the ongoing crisis, as well as continuing to work closely with the Financial Ombudsman Service to resolve disputed claims.

He continued: “Insurers and brokers have an essential role to play in supporting their customers who may be unclear whether they have appropriate cover in place.

“Clear, accurate and timely communication is crucial, which we expect firms to deliver.”

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